3 affordable pass rushers the Vikings can sign to replace Za'Darius Smith

Markus Golden
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Who are some of the more affordable free-agent pass rushers the Minnesota Vikings could sign to replace the recently departed Za'Darius Smith?

Following the 2023 NFL Draft, it was starting to seem like veteran pass rusher Za'Darius Smith might remain with the Minnesota Vikings for the upcoming season.

However, the Vikings and the Cleveland Browns completed a trade last Friday that sent Smith and two future late-round draft picks to the AFC North in exchange for a pair of future fifth-round draft selections.

Following an odd "goodbye" post on social media by Smith earlier this offseason and Minnesota signing free-agent pass rusher Marcus Davenport back in March, it was a relationship that many assumed was going to end at some point this year. It took a little longer than some expected, but in the end, the Vikings were able to find a trade partner for the veteran outside linebacker.

By removing Smith from their roster, Minnesota was able to clear a good amount of cap space (potentially more than $10 million). The Vikings are reportedly paying some of the 2022 Pro Bowler's salary for the upcoming season, according to Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot, but they were still able to create a notable amount of spending money with the trade.

Who knows exactly what Minnesota's plans are for their newly acquired cap space, but using some of it to add another veteran pass rusher to their roster this offseason is something they could consider. If this ends up being a path the Vikings think about following, who are some of the more affordable free-agent pass rushers the team could add this year to help make up for the loss of Smith?